typodupeerror
• #### Re: (Score:2)

You've got it all wrong, and I'll be happy to explain why. :)

The Tesla Roadster starts at $92,000 which is much less than other exotic sports cars it can run with -- Porsches and Ferraris. It's not intended to be "basic transportation" and any attempt to compare its price tag with cars that are basic transportation is pointless. The batteries don't lay down and die at the end of five years. By then the estimate is that they'll be reduced to about 80% of their original capacity -- which means even a "worn o • #### Re: (Score:2) Ok I'll bite on the fly wheel idea.... What kind of fly wheel are you talking about? Scale? Materials? Stored in vacuum? What kind of mass? Which plane does it spin in? How does it cope with effects of the coreolis forces? And of course you know it would have to be stationary? Having a fly wheel with any decent level of energy storage would also have a huge resistance against turning!! Just to throw some numbers in the air... lets say you had a 0.2m thick 1m radius disk of lead, it would weigh approximately 70 • #### Re: (Score:2) lets say it is spinning at 120rpm (pretty fast given how heavy this thing is) As you elude to, the energy of a flywheel is (to a good approximation):$1/2 I \omega^2$where I is the moment of inertia (not the mass) and omega the angular speed. The mass can be surprisingly low, if it's all concentrated away from the axis of rotation. With modern materials and engineering one can obtain very high angular speeds. There's an overview of this technology with links in the Wikipedia article on flywheel energy storage [wikipedia.org]. It's not a new idea, having been used in the 50s to power busses i • #### Re: (Score:2) That's the tech I was referring to. From the looks of things, if that tech could become good enough, it would represent a power source which would have an effective life as long as the vehicle itself(About 10 years, according to one manufacturer of flywheel UPS systems), could be measured exactly in terms of remaining energy, and would represent a fairly simple to contain energy source in the event of an accident(Compare flying flywheel dust to LI-ION battery or gasoline explosion). Really, this isn't crazyh • #### Re: (Score:3, Insightful) Battery technology will experience a sort of Moore's Law with the demand for hybrid and all-electric vehicles. Demand helps, but physics (and return on investment) has limits. If technological progress (like we experienced with semiconductors) depended only on demand, then the energy market would have experienced a revolution long ago. Instead, we're still using fossil fuels and copper wire -- technologies that are at least a century old. We also still have cancer, AIDS, people dying of the flu, I can still • #### Patented to Death? (Score:4, Interesting) on Wednesday April 11, 2007 @02:24AM (#18685819) Homepage Journal Will this patent monopoly on the new tech be used to kill it, just like NiMH batteries were prevented from powering cars [google.com] by the car and oil corporations? • #### Re: (Score:2) Is Chevron really the problem? Or is it the 30-80 Wh/kg? And the long recharge times. And the cold weather performance. (specifically: the lack thereof) But hey: NiMH's cheap, right? Which probably explains why so many hybrids have NiMH battery packs. (Toyota Prius, Saturn Aura, etc) So I'm not sure how you can intimate that Chevron is suppressing NiMH technology in cars, when it's already there in all the applications that don't rely solely upon the battery pack. (i.e. hybrids) • #### Re: (Score:2) Chevron refusing to license the patent prevented engineers from tweaking those problems, or putting out early-adopter models which would have funded innovation (perhaps beyond the patented NiMH). It took a long time for those first hybrids to use their battery tech. Without the patent suppression, we'd be a few years closer to 10x efficient vehicle energy and possibly 100x efficient pollution reduction. Which is precious time as we speed towards the oil peak and the Greenhouse tipping points. • #### Re: (Score:2) There's plenty of NiMH solutions that didn't and don't involve Chevron's tech. If Chevron's patents were the only stumbling block, someone would have worked around it. Companies design around each other's patents as a matter of course. NiMH technology is simply fundamentally unsuited to BEVs and Chevron's patents didn't change that. If Chevron had licensed, maybe their NiMH batteries would be a bit better. But that still wouldn't make them good enough to run BEVs and even without Chevron's licenses NiMH was • #### Re: (Score:2) What we need more of is science. Statistics from Wikipedia Lithium Ion Batteries: Battery specifications Energy/weight 160 Wh/kg Energy/size 270 Wh/L Power/weight 1800 W/kg Charge/discharge efficiency 99.9%[1] Energy/consumer-price 2.8 Wh/US$
Self-discharge rate 5%-10%/month
Time durability (24-36) months
Cycle durability 1200 cycles
Nominal Cell Voltage 3.6 V
Charge temperature interval

Nickel Metal Hydride batteries

Battery specifications
Energy/weight 30-80 Wh/kg
Energy/size 140-300 Wh/L
Power/weight 250-1000 W/kg
Charge/d
• #### Re: (Score:2)

This is a documented conspiracy, to which I linked amply, to suppress a tech that was ready for deployment, but denied to the industry. There are better techs, but that didn't stop gasoline from being the choice for a century.

Your inadequate argument turned obnoxious for no reason. I'm no "arts student". You're an asshole, and a wrong asshole, too.

Goodbye.
• #### it's explosively fast (Score:5, Funny)

on Wednesday April 11, 2007 @02:29AM (#18685849) Homepage
batteries that are expected to deliver more usage between charges, and shorter charge/discharge times

I believe Sony has perfected the battery with the absolute fastest discharge time. I don't see how this can compete.
• #### Re: (Score:3, Funny)

Actually they have reduced the discharge time to milliseconds. That's the good news, the bad news instead of rating the discharge in volts they rate them in megatons.
• #### What's wrong with... (Score:3, Informative)

on Wednesday April 11, 2007 @02:37AM (#18685883) Homepage Journal

They have good energy density and can deliver considerable voltage for their size, and we've been using them for a very long time. It seems to me that perhaps someone should try researching different formulas for the acid and the chemistry of the plates.

Sure, they're heavy and there's always the danger of a rupture but they are good at doing what batteries are supposed to do, storing and releasing electricity.

LK
• #### Re: (Score:2)

Where did you get the idea that lead-acid batteries have good energy density?
• #### Re:What's wrong with... (Score:5, Informative)

by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 11, 2007 @02:47AM (#18685945)
Lead-acid batteries are a lot worse in comparison...

Energy/weight 30-40 Wh/kg
Energy/size 60-75 Wh/L
Power/weight 180 W/kg
Charge/discharge efficiency 70%-92%
Energy/consumer-price 7(sld)-18(fld) Wh/US$[1] Self-discharge rate 3%-20%/month [2] Time durability 6 months Cycle durability 500-800 cycles Nominal Cell Voltage 2.0 V Lithium-ion batteries [wikipedia.org] Energy/weight 160 Wh/kg Energy/size 270 Wh/L Power/weight 1800 W/kg Charge/discharge efficiency 99.9%[1] Energy/consumer-price 2.8 Wh/US$
Self-discharge rate 5%-10%/month
Time durability (24-36) months
Cycle durability 1200 cycles
Nominal Cell Voltage 3.6 V
• #### Firefly Energy (Score:3, Interesting)

Firefly Energy is building foam-core lead-acid batteries [fireflyenergy.com] that claims to have energy densities as high as current generation NiMH batteries at much less weight and at 1/10th the cost.
• #### Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

Lead Acid Batteries must always be stored in a charged state. If the battery is left in a discharged state, a condition known as Sulfation occurs which makes charging the battery again difficult.
• #### Several things (Score:5, Informative)

on Wednesday April 11, 2007 @03:03AM (#18686013)
The main benefit of lead acid batteries is that they are cheap to make and easy to recycle. However, they do not have very good energy density. A 110AH lead acid battery weighs about 30kg and cannot be repetitively discharged below about 70% of capacity without a severe reduction in life. At 50% discharge you are down to maybe 100 charge/discharge cycles, go very far below that and you will rapidly destroy the battery. The AH rating is about as meaningful as those "200HP" engines in US cars that turn out to have an SAE rating of 55HP.
Effectively it is about a 35AH battery with a total energy delivery of 12V * 35AH = 420WH. The equivalent LiIon batteries would weigh, I guess, around 4kg with packaging. As a result, lead acid batteries are unsuited to any automotive use except those where they can substitute for ballast, such as boats and powered wheelchairs where the batteries help lower the centre of gravity.

Quite a lot of research has gone into the lead/peroxide cycle, especially given the constant desire to make them smaller and more reliable. It hasn't been hugely successful. You can have high discharge rates and long life at the expense of much more weight and much higher cost, but the nature of the cycle itself (the production and destruction of large amounts of lead peroxide) makes it hard to design a system that can handle many charge/discharge cycles without very large and heavy storage arrays.

• #### Re: (Score:2)

They don't deal well with being discharged deeply, and drivers don't deal well with having to recharge every time their battery is 30% drained. Use the full rated capacity of a lead-acid battery every time, and you're going to replace it VERY soon.

You can make them somewhat more robust for that sort of operation, but it involves compromises that don't really go over well when you put them in a car.
• #### Re:What's wrong with...your backyard. (Score:2, Interesting)

Nothing... unless you live near a mine or a smelter.

http://www.semissourian.com/story/1195543.html [semissourian.com]

Enivornmentally freindly? I guess so if it's not in your backyard.
• #### Uh huh, right after the plugin hybrid (Score:2)

Yep. I'll believe there are advances in hybrids happening when you can actually go to a dealer in the US and buy a plugin hybrid without having to mod it yourself.
• #### Re: (Score:2)

There is already one car dealer in the US that does it. OK, it's a roadster (Tesla Roadster), it is expensive (as are all roadsters and new technology) and you can just plug it in to the 110V plugs or your 220V plugs (the ones modern homes have for washing machines etc.) the range is reportedly great (100 miles/charge) but I doubt that any ol' gas station is going to let you use their electricity hookup for a few hours to charge your car on a road trip. It's great for local city driving, probably going to w
• #### Re: (Score:2)

It's not a hybrid.. it's an electric. The brillance of a hybrid is that you can choose which energy source you want to use.
• #### electricity - alas (Score:4, Insightful)

on Wednesday April 11, 2007 @03:07AM (#18686025) Journal
It's a not too well known fact that, in the beginning, a lot of things *were* actually powered by electricity, *before* something else took it over. That something else wasn't necessarily better then the batteries they'd replace, but, sadly, history is full of examples where a less good alternative wins over the market (betamax vs VHS, anyone?). Somtimes electricity did win (it replaced gas for lightening homes/streets) but sometimes, alas, it didn't.

The same was true for cars. Many would think cars were always powered by diesel/petrol, but nothing is further from the truth. In fact, there were many fuels used to drive cars when they were first developped, and electricity-driven cars were actually a rather considerable percentage of cars. But then petrol came and took it over for reasons that are unclear (it has been speculated that it might had something to do with the sound, strangely enough; it made for a more impressing 'look at me, here I am!' - not unimportant to the late-victorian elite of that time. Heck, even today half of the gadgets are bought to show off (blu-ray, HD-DVD, anyone?). In that time, battery- or oildriven cars were in fact ahead of the petrol ones, but that rapidly changed the more popular the petrol-using cars became. In a few decades, the rest was all but gone.

If that hadn't happend, it is obvious we would be FAR ahead of our current state of developement where batteries and electricity-storage is concerned (just like petrol-injection has come a long way since the 19thy century). Just imagine the state of technology now on the same scale as petrol has improved, and all what we invent now (including the nano-tubes) would probably have been developed ages ago. It would have led to efficiencies and yields we can only dream of today. And also imagine the impact it would have had on other areas; a lot less - or none at all - CO2 from cars (and maybe the petrol-industry as a whole would not have reached the peak it has today) and all the problems associated with that would not exist (maybe even les wars)! (Arguably, one would - maybe - have had a environmental problems with acids and such, from the batteries; in that respect, vegetable oil would have been best, perhaps.)

It's funny (well...) to think how one little thing in our history can lead to such huge (and possibly devastating) consequences for humanity more then a century later.

• #### Re: (Score:2)

That post is completely ridiculous.

Indeed.
• #### Re: (Score:2)

Some posts are intelligent and well-reasoned, and it's worth the time to debate them. However, some posts are just nuts.
• #### Re:electricity - alas (Score:4, Insightful)

<no@spam> on Wednesday April 11, 2007 @09:38AM (#18688183) Journal
Gasoline has a far, FAR higher energy density than even the best batteries we have today, let alone what was available 100 years ago. It has nothing to do with the Victorian elite, it's to do with having a useful driving range and fast refuelling time.
• #### Re: (Score:2)

And electric motors often achieve 90% conversion efficiency over the full range of speeds and power output and can be precisely controlled.

The Victorian-elite argument was made by a historian, and I'm not completely convinced by it neither (at least, not as sole cause). It doesn't explain the vegetable oil-driven cars went away, for instance.

That said, back in the 19th century, a lot of other fuels were used to drive the first cars, and had we gone one way or another, our future might have been completely a
• #### Re: (Score:2)

The Victorian-elite argument was made by a historian, and I'm not completely convinced by it neither (at least, not as sole cause). It doesn't explain the vegetable oil-driven cars went away, for instance.

It was actually simple economics. Vegetable oil was/is more expensive. Gasoline ended up being the cheapest fuel for the performance. Electric couldn't handle the distances even a moderate tank afforded for a gasoline engine.

Even today, it takes a 500-1000 pounds of batteries to equal the energy of a ga

In about 5 years we will have easy cyborgization sets, holographic tv, batteries that run your laptop for week between charges, fuel cells, 80 core processors, actually good hybrid/electric vehicles, good speech recognition engines, solar cells with 90% efficiency, solar cells with $5/square meter, and flying cars. Oh I forgot, also vista will be after sp2, and running stable and smooth on then normal computers. But It will be always currentYear()+5 :/ • #### A123 competitors already on the market? (Score:3, Informative) on Wednesday April 11, 2007 @05:21AM (#18686519) Homepage Journal Nanoscale Lithium battery technology leads me to think A123 cells. The cell from this startup are already on the market, powering handheld screwdrivers and model airplanes. They use a patented LiFePo4 reaction(or was there some sulfur in it too, dunno) and their process is much more ideal for automotive transport than NiMH(not enough energy density) or LiPo(Lithium polymer, it's what's making laptops go up in flames the last few years). LiPo has the highest energy density, but is very unsafe when punctured in a crash(or when overcharged): all energy in them will release in a short time, possibly causing fire as the decomposing polymer inside escapes as a flammable gas. The other drawback is that they have a very short lifespan: Max 500 charge-cycles (better count on 100-200) or 3 years (cells degenerate even when not in use). Thus far LiPo cells are prohibitively expensive, and no hybrid owner would like to fork over a few K every year for new batteries. the A123 process is much more resilient wrt to abuse: you can run them down completely unlike LiPo or lead-acid, the stand overcharging much better, and if punctured they don't go up in flames. The company rates their cells as being able to deliver 2000 cycles, which is much more than lipo, NiMH, NiCad or Lead-acid. And as far as I know, they have no ties to Delft University, but I have not read TFA yet... They are here [a123systems.com]. • #### Re: (Score:2) LiPo(Lithium polymer, it's what's making laptops go up in flames the last few years). LiPo has the highest energy density, but is very unsafe when punctured in a crash(or when overcharged) You must be thinking of Li-Ion. Li-Ion uses a flammable organic solvent as the electrolyte, while Li-Po uses a salt held in a solid non-flammable polymer. Li-Ion is usually used for higher-current applications like laptop computers, while Li-Po is usually used in low-current applications like mobile phones. The exploding laptops used Li-Ion batteries. • #### They're not the only ones... (Score:3, Informative) on Wednesday April 11, 2007 @05:34AM (#18686551) Toshiba announced [technewsworld.com] research on a technology for fast charging li-ions over two years ago. This was using nanotech materials for an improved anode (maybe cathode too), enabling fast charging (80% charge in one minute) and long life (99% capacity after 1,000 charges). A similar approach [newscientist.com] was also annouced, about the same time, by Altair Technologys in Reno. It's all about increasing the effective surface area of the anode, and perhaps making it from stronger stuff. In traditional Li-ion cells, a big wear factor is that the anode can form a parasitic battery with the electrical contact, causing the terminal to eventually wear out, faster as you approach full cycling the battery. Heat is also a factor, in both terminals and the full cell... the higher internal resistance of the Li-ion vs. NiMH (or better still, NiCAD) limits peak power, and also increases the risk of damage or, particularly in quesitonably made cells, explosions. Dramatic improvements in both of these are necessary to enable practical (in a commerical sense) pure electric vehicles (BEV). There's no conspiracy necessary... traditional NiMH cells are a problem for full electrics.. which the actual reason none of these cars have been successful. Not to mention the expense... the Toyota EV-RAV4, for example, cost$42,000 and gave you about 100 miles on a charge.. and that with Toyota still selling them at a loss (as they did in the early days of the Prius, too).

In a hybrid, the batteries are only partially cycled (my 2003 Prius runs the NiMH cells over 40% of their capacity range; Toyota extended this to about 60% on the models starting in 2004), and that keeps them very long lived. Natrually, better batteries make a better hybrid, but the fact my Toyota can only go about 2-3 miles on a full charge doesn't impact its general use; the issues around battery technology today make the BEV a small niche product.

But the energy density is just too low even full cycling NiMH to make a BEV with mass appeal... most people would demand at least 200-300 miles of range, charging times on-the-road similar to that of petrol fueling (not the minimum of 15-30 minutes you'll have with today's cells), and long life (full cycling NiMH, they're good for about 500-1000 charges).

Once you have a higher density cell that doesn't wear out and can be charged in under 5 minutes, full EVs will be practical enough for a mainstream automaker to POSSIBLY launch a full production car, not just an experiment. This is critical technology for improving hybrids as well, and keep in mind that all practical FCEVs will also be hybrids (fuel cells suck at peak power demands, they like to be slow and steady, so you need a battery or supercapacitor to enable the peaks).
• #### Just one small technical problem (Score:4, Insightful)

on Wednesday April 11, 2007 @06:50AM (#18686903)
Have you considered the electrical power needed to charge a practical vehicle cell in 5 minutes?

Let's assume an average cruising consumption of about 15kw for a small car. At 60mph with a 300 mile range, that's 75kwh. To charge those cells in 5 minutes, assuming an 80% efficiency, will need 75 * 12 * 1.25 =~ 1.1 Megawatts. At 440V, even with a 3-phase charger, that's over 1000 amps. At 11KV it's a more reasonable 100A, but the weight of the inverter gear and the shielded connector in the car is considerable and you are going to spend rather more than 5 minutes padlocking the interlocks and cross checking before and after charge. At 440V the main issue will be the weight of the cables. Three cores of around 400mm cross section each are rather heavy.

It's possible to imagine a world in which fuel stations supply exchange cells, but given the natural nervousness of most drivers when close to empty, it's unlikely to be practical or cost effective.

The model is wrong. You have to imagine a world in which car parks have charging stations that charge at reasonable rates, as do hotels and houses. You will need a general beefing up of the electricity distribution network, and you will need plenty of nuclear, solar and wind energy sources. And people will have to plan maybe a little further ahead than they do at present. Long trips will mandate an overnight stop. Probably a good thing as the only accidents I have ever had were after driving too long in a day.

On that model with a more reasonable 10-hour charge, the necessary charging rate is about 9KW - still a heavy cable, but with a socket about the size and complexity of the sort used for portable machines in factories and for boat shorepower.

Just don't try to use your wind turbine. In our location, to run my small car on its current, fairly low usage cycle, I would need a 6M diameter turbine on a 40M pylon, and I suspect the neighbours would object.

• #### Re: (Score:2)

Just don't try to use your wind turbine. In our location, to run my small car on its current, fairly low usage cycle, I would need a 6M diameter turbine on a 40M pylon, and I suspect the neighbours would object.

That would be a very small turbine. Why not go for something like this one [vestas.com], 82m diameter with a 59m tower? That should power a few cars, and it's a good mid-size turbine for use in areas where you cannot depend on a strong, regular wind. Place it half a mile or more from houses, of course, otherwise
• #### Is lithium really the best idea for cars? (Score:2)

Lithium doesn't really pack *much* more energy density (in terms of volume), but does do it with less weight. That's terrific.

But while lithiums handle deep discharge much better than lead-acid batteries, they're still not as good as NiCad or NiMh. They're also a lot more expensive. And, probably the best argument against them... look at the fires that happen when laptop (or even CELL PHONE) lithium cells are damaged or shorted. Now, imagine a car packing a thousand times more getting in an accident...
• #### Shame on GM (Score:2)

Every time I read about improvements in traction batteries I get angry at the way they missed their opportunity. If they had just kept manufacturing the EV-1 and selling it to the long waiting list of buyers, they could be riding the wave of improving battery technology.

Probably 80% of the cars I see on the road during that drive are commuting less than a hundred miles round trip.

To date, I've seen exactly one EV-1 on the road.

It was about five years ago that I saw my first Prius on the road. It was two yea
• #### Re: (Score:2)

I recall walking along a street in LA back around 2000 or 2001 and in the corner of my eye I saw a silent car roll up on my left. I turned to look at what it was and saw it was an EV-1. It was beautiful, and broke my heart a little, since GM had already made it clear the EV-1 was on its way out.

I've got a fairly efficient 7 year old 2dr hatchback with manual transmission which I only drive for trips and groceries and the like ( since I walk to work ). It's got 55k miles on it, and my hope/goal is to put a

• #### Ultracaps a long way off, maybe never. (Score:2)

Every time a discussion on batteries comes up, someone brings up ultracapacitors as the savior wonder technology. Then they use power and energy densities interchangeably.

Power densities (KW/Kg) for electric cars are all but irrelevant for current technologies. All power density reflects is how fast you can discharge. For any battery containing sufficient energy density, there will be adequate power density. Any time you see power density being highlighted it is a red herring attempt to distract from the fa
• #### In The Next 5 Years (Score:2)

In the next 5 years. It's always in the Next 5 Years. I should live so long.

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